|New Women - Luo Mingyou|
A Chinese 1934 B&W movie, generally considered a classic of pre-war Chinese films. Also known as Ruan Lingyu's second-to-last film, with a plot that foreshadowed her own death. This movie shows the hard life of an ambitious young woman in 1930s Shanghai. There is a more thorough plot synopsis on Wikipedia. The movie is a talkie, that was also intended to be shown at theaters not set up for sound. The effect, frankly, is really weird.
Keywords: Shanghai B&W
|Diary of the Homecoming - 还乡日记|
A 1947 comedy of errors, as young couples come back to the confusing circumstances of a post-War, pre-Communist Shanghai. B&W, Mandarin Chinese.
|Cosmetics of Market - 脂粉市场|
A woman awakens to the evils of the capitalist society and fights for a better life. B&W, Shanghai, Mandarin Chinese.
|National Customs - 国风|
A 1935 B&W Chinese movie, with Chinese intertitles. It stars Ruan Lingyu and Lily Li, two of the biggest female stars of the area, and was Ruan Lingyu's final role, being released after her suicide. It was filmed by Kuomintang-aligned Bo Ying Studios.
Keywords: Chinese B&W silent Shanghai
|Greedy Neighbours - 恶邻|
A somewhat primitive proto-wuxia B&W silent short movie from 1933, with Chinese intertitles. A man and wife are bullied by their neighbors, but then get even through the use of a lot of fighting. The movie was directed, acted, and produced by Ren Pengnian, with his wife Wu Lizhu also acting. The pair went on to create well-regard Kung-Fu movies in Hong Kong after WWII.
Keywords: wuxia fighting B&W silent Shanghai
|The White-Haired Girl (白毛女)|
One of the most well-known feature films from soon after the foundation of the People's Republic of China, based on a Chinese opera by the same name.
Downloads: 7,121 (1 review)
|Bible for Girls - 女儿经|
A melodrama describing the hard life of a young Shanghainese woman. 1934, B&W, Mandarin Chinese.
|Street Angel (馬路天使)|
Shanghai, 1935. The beautiful young girl Xiao Hong is a singer at a teahouse. She falls in love with her neighbor, a handsome young musician called Xiao Chen. Their windows face each other, and Xiao Chen often entertains Xiao Hong with magic tricks through the window. When Xiao Hong discovers that her boss indends to sell her to a rich teahouse customer who has taken a liking to her, Xiao Chen and his eccentric bunch of friends do all they can to stop it...
Keywords: China; Shanghai; drama; comedy
Downloads: 24,377 (8 reviews)
|Twin Sisters - 再生花|
A 1934 movie which shows the parallel lives of two twins, separated at birth - one going to Shanghai, the other raised into the countryside. They meet, and there's various class explorations involved. B&W, Mandarin Chinese, Mingxing studios.
|The Spring River Flows East, Part 2: The Dawn|
Chinese Title: 一江春水向東流：天亮前後 The second part of the 1947 Chinese film The Spring River Flows East. Note that there are no English subtitles or dubbing. See Also: The Spring River Flows East, Part 1: Eight War-Torn Years
|Spring in a Small Town (小城之春)|
Seen by many as the greatest Chinese film ever, Spring in a Small Town is different from other films of the era. In a time when most films were colored by the politics of the time, Spring in a Small Town is a story of a woman with a love dilemma. Subtitles: VobSub (Chinese Simplified & Traditional) English
Downloads: 15,847 (6 reviews)
|This Life of Mine (我這一輩子)|
Also known as: The Life of a Peking Policeman Based on the novel by Lao She, directed by Shi Hui. Subtitles: VobSub (Chinese Simplified & Traditional, English)
Keywords: China; Drama; Beijing
|Plunder of Peach and Plum - 桃李劫;|
Directed by and starring Yuan Muzhi. This 1934 movie details the plight of college graduates determined to improve China, despite the corruption and injustice of the day. 1934, Diantong, Shanghai, B&W, Mandarin Chinese. Also known as "The Fate of Graduates."
|Princess Iron Fan (鐵扇公主)|
Produced by the Wan brothers in the midst of war, Princess Iron Fan is the first feature length animation made in China. We follow the Monkey King and his friends on their journey to the west. As they reach Fire Mountain they are unable to pass because of the fire but learn that a special iron fan can quench the flames. However, the fan belongs to Princess Iron Fan and she will not willingly lend it to them.....
Keywords: China; Animation
Downloads: 22,424 (4 reviews)
|Dream of the Red Mansions - 红楼梦|
A 1944 Shanghai costume drama, B&W, Mandarin Chinese. One of many movie versions of Dream of the Red Chamber, the famous Chinese novel. An English version of the novel is also archived at http://www.archive.org/details/hungloumengbooki09603gut
|Children of Troubled Times - 风云儿女|
Yuan Muzhi directs and stars in a movie about a young intelligentsia who wavers between a Western lifestyle and the Revolutionary cause. Soundtrack contains "March of the Volunteers," which went on to become the national anthem of the People's Republic of China. 1935, B&W, Mandarin Chinese. Also known as "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm."
|The East is Red - 东方红 (Dongfang Hong)|
A song and dance epic produced by the People's Republic of China on the cusp of the Cultural Revolution. "What sort of film would have resulted if, in the mid 1960s, Busby Berkeley, fresh from his gig on 'Jumbo', had been invited by none other than Chairman Mao to realize a project styled 'a song and dance epic', for the benefit of the entire People's Republic of China to digest as a picture show entertainment? Something flashy, but with a message...
Keywords: Mao Zedong; Mao Tse-Tung; Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution; People's Republic of China; musical; epic; communism; maoism; marxism
Downloads: 38,448 (3 reviews)
|Daybreak - 天明|
Perhaps an over-the-top example of Lianhua Studio's Output. Lily Li, one of the biggest stars of the day, plays an innocent country girl who is forced into a life of prostitution and then becomes a revolutionary. B&W, silent.
Keywords: Shanghai Lianhua China B&W Silent
Downloads: 3,662 (1 review)
Four university graduates face unemployement in 1930's China. Note that there are no English subtitles or dubbing.
|The Boatman's Daughter - 船家女|
A young married woman of a boat-family becomes involved with the idle rich of Shanghai. A morality tale - Shanghai, B&W, Mandarin Chinese
|The Big Road (大路)|
A 1934 Chinese film about the life of a group of workers constructing a road. Although basically a silent film, there is some singing dubbed in. Note that there are no English subtitles or dubbing.
Downloads: 8,470 (2 reviews)
|Three Girls - 丽人行|
A 1949 B&W movie giving the story of three different Shanghai women who come to join the struggle against Japan. B&W, Mandarin Chinese.
Keywords: Shanghai Japan War Women B&W
Downloads: 2,738 (1 review)
|Empress Wu Zetian - 武则天|
A biopic of the Empress Wu Zetian. 1939, B&W, Shanghai, Mandarin Chinese (with credits in both Chinese and English).
|The Spring River Flows East, Part 1: Eight War-Torn Years|
Chinese Title: 一江春水向東流：八年離亂 The first part of the 1947 Chinese film The Spring River Flows East. Note that there are no English subtitles or dubbing. See Also: The Spring River Flows East, Part 2: The Dawn
|Youth on the March - 青年進行曲|
Youth decide to get involved with the anti-Japanese struggle, also dealing with war profiteers. Shanghai, B&W, 1937, Mandarin Chinese.
|Queen of Sports - 体育皇后|
A girl comes to Shanghai, where she learns about sports and love. The breakout movie for actress Lily Li, one of the era's biggest stars. Silent, B&W, Chinese intertitles.
Keywords: Shanghai Sports China B&W Silent
|Song of the Fishermen (漁光曲)|
An early Chinese silent film directed by Cai Chusheng. There are no English subtitles, only Chinese intertitles.
|Song at Midnight (夜半歌聲)|
The first Chinese horror film, directed by Ma-Xu Weibang in 1937. Subtitles: VobSub (Chinese Simplified & Traditional, English)
Keywords: China; Horror
Downloads: 14,936 (5 reviews)
|Scenes of City Life - 都市风光 - Yuan Muzhi|
subtitles are available off this site at http://www.archive.org/details/ScenesOfCityLife-SrtSubtitles A heavily didactic 1935 Shanghai movie which plays as a tragic comedy. A poor guy loves a girl but there's another man after her, and her father is also in the way. It starts out like Charlie Chaplin, but it goes on to show the basic moral failures of the Westernized capitalistic city. While it has its problems (one of the biggest being that it has two huge framing devices right at the beginning...
Keywords: Shanghai; China; Drama; Comedy; B&W
Downloads: 20,026 (8 reviews)